Paul First Nations School Library Makerspace
The Paul First Nation occupies a tract of land along Wabamun Lake, AB. This land was set aside by the Government of Canada in 1892 and is known as Wabamun Indian Reserve 133A and B. It is situated approximately 70 Km West of Edmonton, AB. The Nation is comprised of 1926 members (INAC 2005 IRS) of which 1110 live on-reserve. The PFN School which opened in 1984 focuses on the well being of its approximately 150 students through a holistic approach, that prepares its students for the future while also focusing on respect for our past and culture. Modern First Nations Education incorporates a deep respect for the natural world, with physical, moral, intellectual, and life skills development of the individual. Our First Nation's language and cultural values are taught and enhanced through education. Our education develops qualities and values in students such as respect for Elders and cultural tradition, leadership, generosity, resource fullness, integrity, wisdom, courage, compassion for others, and living harmoniously with the environment. PFN school is no longer large enough to facilitate all the students in the school and a new Kindergarten to Grade nine school is being built that will include something that students do not currently have- a school library! Currently, students have limited access to library materials as transportation to off-reserve libraries are difficult especially during the spring months when dirt roads become nearly impossible to travel on. With the funds requested the school will not only be able to provide technology-based programs and maker spaces to students, something that has been limited with current resources but also to the PFN community through after-school Youth Programs and other special events such as the Seniors Tea. Evening and weekend programs in the community see an average of fifty members in attendance and help reach people who may not attend the school or normally have access to any sort of group programming, especially technology or learning based programs.
Who Will it Benefit?
The 150 students who attend Paul First Nations School will directly benefit from a maker space program as they will have access to learning materials that have previously been limited to the students. This will encourage students to participate in STEAM programming (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) that will showcase the different types of careers and post-secondary educations students may not have known they are interested in. As the school has a very limited budget and is trying to build a new library, much of the budget has gone towards the purchase of curriculum and recreational reading materials leaving very little for community library programs and maker spaces. These additional funds would help to open doors to the entire community.